It’s Not Goodbye; It’s See Ya Later!

me greyMeet Meagan Johnson from Hackberry, Louisiana. She is a senior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the Manship School of Mass Communication this summer. She is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Political Science and History. Meagan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Collegiate 4-H and the University Baptist Church College Group. Her favorite place on campus is the Parade Ground.

As the summer is coming to a close and I begin to look back at all of the memories I have made, I realize how blessed I was to have been a Parent Orientation Leader this summer. This experience is one that the rest of my team and I will never forget. It was wonderful getting to meet all of the parents and family members of our incoming tigers. We enjoyed sharing our experiences with you, answering questions, spinning that wheel at family game night, writing letters, encountering the blistering heat then sudden pouring rain and above all helping to make you feel comfortable about sending your students to LSU. I will always remember the moments we shared and I am thankful for getting to spend time with all of theatre

With fall classes beginning soon, I am sure that all of you are trying to get last minute things together for you and your students to be prepared for this journey. One thing that may be very helpful for both you and your student to have is a list of resources that either of you may need throughout the semester. You all learned about several resources at orientation, but making a contact sheet will help you get in touch with different departments quickly. Here is an example of what your list could look like:

  • LSU Police Department- (225) 578-3231
  • Student Health Center- (225) 578-6271
  • Campus Transit- (225) 578-5555
  • University College: Center for Freshman Year- (225) 578-6822

group red shirtThere are many more departments and resources on campus that you may need and they are readily available at Another very helpful resource for parents is the LSU Parent and Family Programs website This is a great medium for parents to find answers to any questions they may have. The site provides information about different resources, orientation, the Parent and Family Association and upcoming events taking place.

The last piece of advice I have for all of you is to simply enjoy this experience. It can be a very emotional time, but it is important to remember that this is also an exciting one as well. Your student is about to embark on an incredible journey that you all have been working toward the past twelve years and with your support they can achieve it. Even though we are sad orientation is over, we know our journey with you all is not. We are always here as a resource for you and your students. We also hope to see you all again at Family Weekend October 2-4. It will be the perfect time for a reunion with your parent orientation leaders as well as a chance to see all of the amazing things your students are doing. I hope all of you have a wonderful year and Geaux Tigers!

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 10

DB 2Meet Drake Boudreaux from Lafayette, Louisiana. He is a junior and will be serving as the Head Parent Orientation Leader this summer. He is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Digital Advertising and minoring in Visual Communication. Drake is involved in several organizations on campus such as LSU Ambassadors, Student Government and Dance Marathon. His favorite place on campus is Tiger Stadium.

Serving as the Head Parent Orientation Leader for LSU this summer has easily been the most rewarding experience of my life. Spending such an ample amount of time representing the University alongside these 10 individuals has allowed me to gain insight on so many new things. DB groupComing in to contact with a countless number of families from all over the country with such different stories helped me realize the diversity of this University and gain a new appreciation for where I came from and all the things my parents did for me.

It is true that I have not raised a child and for me to give advice on how to be a parent would be pretty silly. But I have learned quite a few things this summer that I feel would be beneficial for you, as families, to consider as you are sending your student off to Baton Rouge.

It’s not always about the product; it’s about the process.

If there is one thing I have learned from my POL team, it is that the process is just as important as the product. Chances are your student is coming to LSU with some clear goals in mind: walk across a stage, receive a degree, and be on the right path for a successful career. However, it is important to keep in mind that the journey to that stage is just as important. We make mistakes, we accidentally oversleep classes, and we change our majors. But we also make lifelong friends, DB kidunforgettable memories, and we explore what different things the world has to offer us. I’ve always appreciated my parents’ unyielding support while learning these things. Each family is different, but finding that middle ground between complete dependence and complete freedom is beneficial for everyone involved. In my family’s case, by allowing me to make my own decisions, find comfort in my independence, and become the pilot of where I wanted my life to take me (with a few stern reminders thrown in there), I feel like I am able to get more out of my college experience than just a degree. Also encourage your student to find a way to enjoy their time at LSU, take it all in, stop and smell the roses (or magnolias). It is true that these four years go by incredibly fast and should be some of the best and most memorable years of our lives.

Take advantage of opportunities

Ironically enough, talking to parents all summer about every single detail of my LSU experience really has made me reflect on the amazing opportunities this place offers it’s students. Whether students continue to do things the way they’ve always done them or they choose to completely DB srowreinvent themselves, there are resources and opportunities to accommodate the whole range. It took me quite a few tries to find a place where I felt I belonged on a campus with over 30,000 students. But in doing so, I found a way to make LSU my home away from home and benefit in every way possible from my 4 years here. Encourage your students to get involved in organizations, seek out resources if they need help, meet new people, try new things, and explore everything LSU has to offer.

Keep doing what you’re doing

One of the most important things I gained this summer was a newfound appreciation for my parents and all they’ve done for me. From teaching me how to make moral decisions all the way to never washing reds with whites, I’ve utilized every lesson, every “I told you so,” every opinion DB parentsthat I’ve ever received from my parents. I’ve learned that every student has a story and that the families of the university truly are the unsung heroes of campus. We would not be the diverse, well-rounded, fun loving, hospitable student body that we are without the families who raised us. So here is a round of applause to you all and what you have done! My piece of advice moving forward is simply…don’t stop. Continue to teach us lessons, continue to offer your insight, continue to support us through all trials and tribulations because the one thing as students that we should always be able to count on is that we have family members in our corners, rooting for our success.

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 9

BPMeet Brandon Power from Mandeville, Louisiana. He is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Engineering. He is majoring in Industrial Engineering. Brandon is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Engineering Ambassadors, Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Sophomore Gold Program. His favorite place on campus is the Parade Ground.

When I looked at universities to attend, LSU was not my immediate choice. This was because of the same fear many students face when searching for colleges: the size of the student body. When I heard 30,000 students attended LSU, I was intimidated to say the least. I wanted to attend a school where people would know my face, professors would know my name, and I could run into my friends just by walking to class. Ultimately, it was my decision of where I would attend college. My family knew I was torn, and they continued to throw facts at me about how good of a school LSU is. BP flagThis made me reconsider attending LSU, however, this did not ease my fear of attending a school with 30,000 students. When it came time to make the final decision, my parents sat me down and said to me, “We want you to be happy with your choice and enjoy your college experience. If you do not enjoy your first choice, we will help you transfer schools.” In that moment, something inside of me told me to choose LSU, and looking back, I now know that this was the best decision I have ever made.

If you’re wondering how I went from being intimidated by LSU to being a die-hard tiger fan, it only took one step: GET INVOLVED! My entire college experience was shaped by those two words. Getting involved in organizations around campus has opened countless doors for me in college, as well as beyond LSU. It has made me proud of who I am today. Additionally, it made the campus feel smaller. I do not notice the size of the student body anymore. After getting involved, people know my face, professors know my name, and I run into many of my friends just by walking to class.

BP friendsAs a parent, encourage your student to get involved in multiple organizations around campus. As they get more involved, they will make more memories and have the college experience that they want. It might sound crazy at first to tell your student to take away time from studying, but getting involved actually helps students succeed. It teaches them valuable time management skills, how to interact with students and professionals, and it has been proven that students who participate in extra-curricular activities perform better in school.

LSU is a place that has everything your student is looking for. It is where I have made my greatest memories and my best friends. It is where I have found the people who will stand in my wedding and have learned what it truly means to Love Purple and Live Gold. Getting involved has made LSU more than a school to me, it is why I call LSU my home.

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 8

2_zpskbjvgamfMeet Nicole Dominique from Thibodaux, Louisiana. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Science and the School of the Coast and Environment this summer. She is currently pursuing a dual-degree in Microbiology and English Literature with the intentions of applying to medical school in the coming year. At LSU, She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Gamma Beta Phi and Honors College Advocates. Nicole also researches in a microbiology lab on campus in Life Sciences and works as a content tutor for the Academic Center for Student Athletes. Her favorite location on campus is Middleton Library because of the different floors with varying noise levels, the great views of campus and the CC’s that can be found on the first floor.

Well, it’s official! Fee bills have been sent out (and are due August 6th!), and your student is going to college. At this point, you and your families are probably enjoying the last weeks of your summer, or your student may even be attending a post-orientation program such as S.T.R.I.P.E.S. Regardless, this is a time to embrace. nikkiAfter all, you only get so many first’s (like my first day of school), and beginning college is a big transition for anyone. While change always brings with it worry and anxiety, the transition to college really is a time for personal growth and fun, and I promise, it’s exciting!

Coming into LSU from a small town, I was anxious about the adjustment, but at the same time, I knew that LSU would have so many opportunities for me, even if I didn’t quite know what that entailed yet. But, in retrospect, I can tell you that I was able to take 40 credit hours, join 3 on-campus organizations (an amount that was contested then, has increased since, and remains to be contested by my mom), develop several friendships, make innumerable memories, begin volunteering for a national crisis intervention hotline, learn the layout of campus, work my first real job, acquire the ability not to wince when drinking coffee, and study abroad in the United Kingdom all during my freshman year.UK

Despite that, my mother still dedicatedly called me at 4 p.m. every day during the school year, and I drove back home about every other weekend. With that, I was able to balance college life and still spend time with my family. So, college, in no way, is a goodbye.

My best advice to you is to enjoy this time. It’s going to go faster than you think, and before you know it, you’re going to be sitting through your student’s graduation ceremony. As cliché as that is, as a rising junior, which is still really frightening to say, I have seen how quickly college passes. So, enjoy this time by staying calm and planning for what you can. You will ultimately forget something, especially if you’re like me and you forget to bring a pillow both your freshman and sophomore years to the residence hall, but that’s no big deal. You craft a make-shift pillow out of a blanket or borrow one and make it through the night until you get your proper pillow. That may just be me, but anyway, life happens. You may experience your own figurative forgotten pillow, but make the best out of it (and then use it for later blogs-again, maybe just me)! But, the point is that it really is near impossible to do everything perfectly. We have the resources there for you such as residence hall packing lists, which are mailed to you and which needed a second look by me, so again, plan for what you can. But, it will all be alright if things don’t go perfectly as planned.

So, what are you still doing here? We have 26 days until the Fall semester begins, so make sure you pay your fee bill, but go out and enjoy the summer and your time with your student! And like always…


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Tips for Your Tiger Week 7

taylorMeet Taylor Bourne from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Agriculture this summer. She is majoring in Sports Administration with a minor in Business. Taylor is involved in LSU Ambassadors, LSU Move-In-Day, Geaux Big and works at the LSU Ticket Office. Her favorite place on campus is the Greek Theatre.

To all of the wonderful parents and families, I understand that college is an adjustment for everyone involved and not just your student. Knowing that they are going away to experience things on their own without you is most definitely a tough pill to swallow. On the bright side, this will make your student realize that the real world is coming soon. I am sometimes very dependent on my parents for things that I should know how to do or handle. Mainly, I knew that they would always be there for me no matter how confident they were in me. It is a learning process for my parents and myself that I have to grow up and handle adult responsibilities. Now that I am about to be a junior, I make it a point to handle as much as I can on my own. I realize that the “real world” is getting closer and I want to be as prepared as possible.

Some advice that I would give parents and families on dealing with adjusting is time. Everything takes time. Do not expect for your student to be smooth sailing right when they start college. They may not have the best grade and they may not make any friends, but in the end, that’s ok. With time, your student will make those great grades and have a great group of friends. Again, this takes a lot of adjusting. High school is very different from college and it is an eye opener to students who are used to doing things one way. College is definitely a place where CHANGE comes into play. On a personal note, I HATED change. I was honestly scared of change because I liked things the way they were (so I thought). But recently, a lot has changed for me and I would not have it any other way. My parents are very supportive, but they have learned to not do everything for me. They let me experience things on my own without butting in, which I truly appreciate. Sometimes I want them to butt in but like I referenced in the beginning, the real world is coming and will not allow your parents to butt in no matter how much they want to (LOL). Lastly, to any parents who participated in evening activities and heard about my struggle bus, IT IS REAL! Thank you all for being such great support systems to your students and I cant wait to see them this fall!

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 6

1_zpsftppkfqvMeet Ryan Bolotte from New Orleans, Louisiana. He will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the University College for Freshman Year this summer. He is a recent graduate with a degree in Biological Sciences. He will attend LSU Medical School in New Orleans in the fall. Ryan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES Program, Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring. His favorite place on campus is the LSU Lakes.

I entered LSU as a very shy, introverted freshman. I knew I was determined and driven, but I was not sure how I was going to transfer my high school success over to college. If there is one thing I have learned during my four years at LSU, it is that this university provides plentiful resources and opportunities to benefit your student while he or she is here. Your student will hear about these helpful departments and tools at orientation and any extended orientation programs he or she may attend. However, it is upon your student to seek out any help or advising he or she may need over the years.

The Center for Academic Success (CAS) strives to allow students to reach their full potential inside the classroom. CAS offers many events, programs, and services focused on time management, learning style assessments, and study strategies. CAS also offers tutoring and Supplemental Instruction to aid students in proper preparation for their exams. More information on CAS can be found at

The Olinde Career Center is an excellent resource for students to utilize for their development into young professionals. Advisors in this department can help your student create a four-year degree plan as well as counsel students to align their major with a suitable and practical career. The Olinde Career Center also puts on events such as résumé editing, personal statement workshops, job fairs/career expos, and mock interviews. Additionally, the Olinde Career Center manages a database (called Careers2Geaux) that lists available volunteer, part-time, and internship positions from various employers. More information on the Olinde Career Center can be found at

There are many ways that your student can go about getting involved on our campus. There are over 350 student organizations that students can take part in. During the first few weeks of classes, Free Speech Plaza (located in front of the LSU Student Union) will have many organization representatives providing additional information on their organizations to the student body. Also during the beginning of the semester, there will be a Student Involvement Fair where a majority of LSU’s student organizations sit at tables to promote and advertise their clubs. More information on Campus Life can be found at

loveCollege is not easy for any student. However, I firmly believe that LSU is very strong in its quality and quantity of on-campus resources and departments. Bottom line: it is okay for your student to struggle, but they don’t have to do it alone at LSU.

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 5

madiMeet Madison Lusco from Madisonville, Louisiana. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Music & Dramatic Arts and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences this summer. She is majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. Madison is involved with LSU Ambassadors and Dance Marathon. Her favorite place on campus is in front of the Bell Tower.

No student compares to yours!

As students, choosing a major (and consequently a career path) is one of the toughest and most important decisions we will ever make in the entirety of our lives… And we have to make it fresh out of high school at the age of eighteen.

Naturally as a parent, you may want to help in the decision.  Suggestions are great, research is also good, but support is better. Because when it all comes down to it, it is your student’s decision on what path they take. The last thing they need is to feel pressured into something they have no passion for.  Something as simple as choosing a major can determine our entire lives, so one thing to keep in mind is to narrow your focus strictly to your student and no one else.

Being the overachiever I am, I compare myself to everyone. I have a scholarship that I should be proud of, but there will always be someone out there who got more money than me. I could be really excited about working hard and getting a B on a test, but someone else could have made little effort and gotten an A. madI’m also a psychology major, so unlike an engineering or biology degree, there is no concrete career path laid out for me to choose from. Regardless of what others have done, you as the parent should take pride in the fact that your student did the best that they could do in something that they love.

It is important to remember that every student’s situation is different. Financially, academically, interests, whatever it may be, we are not the same. My tip for parents is to not compare your student to anyone else.  The only person they should be trying to compete with is themselves. Nothing is better than their best, and everyone’s “best” different. I have never felt pressured or resented by my parents for the life decisions I have made or how I have performed thus far. They trust that I can make these choices on my own and that my I will give nothing but my all, and that has made all the difference in my time at LSU.

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 4

1_zpsriyzdsdyMeet Lisa Jalilian from Denham Springs, Louisiana. She is a senior and will be serving as the Parent Oriental Leader for the University College: Center for Advising & Counseling this summer. She is majoring in Biological Sciences. Lisa is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the LSU Pre-Dental Society. Her favorite spot on campus is the LSU Campanile or as many know it, the Memorial Tower. She finds it to be iconic as well as a strong presence on campus.

Thanks to the latest Disney musical extravaganza, everyone is preaching, “let it go” as their new motto.  For all our new LSU family members, I am here to explain that this bittersweet motto is not a bad one to visit Tiger nation with.

My parents are my best friends, and were very involved in every step of my life, kindergarten through twelfth grade.  They never missed any opportunity to chaperon for an event or to add (stalk) one of my friends on Facebook. But on the first day of orientation, when my mom was informed that she and I were going to separate check-in rooms and mostly different programs, I realized that college would not be the same.

I surprised myself by worrying about my parents not being involved in my life at LSU. My mom surprised me by not displaying any of the anxiety I was feeling for the both of us, as she offered me a soft smile and a few short words before parting. FullSizeRender

I realize now, what Mom had realized in the summer of 2012; this was college, things were going to be different, and we just had to let it go.


There is a reason for separate orientation programs; parents and students have different roles at LSU. Orientation is a great lesson of independence and responsibility, and at the end of everyday y’all are able to share and learn from each other.


Your student may change his or her major, wish to study abroad, join a new organization, apply for a prestigious internship, etc. Encourage them to explore and make the difficult decisions on their own. Be their #1 supporter by simply believing in them.


Communicate with your tiger! Contact them with intentions of simply talking, not drilling them with questions about classes, budgets, health, etc. Let them control the conversation, and if you listen long enough, you will hear more than what your questions might have uncovered.


While your student is making connections, I encourage you to collect contacts of your own. You never know when you will need someone to reach out to for some advise or a second opinion.


People are often sensitive to unfamiliarity, making any transition difficult. Offer your student patience and determination. There is a reason LSU chose your student; they belong here and are going to do just fine!


They are not everything, but grades are important. Familiarize yourselves with campus resources. There are a variety of study aids, tutoring options and advising available for your student to utilize.


LSU is full of opportunities for you and your student. Embrace your separate roles and get involved.

Two years later, my parents sent a second student to college, and today, have mastered their roles as LSU Mom and Dad. I have modeled these tips specifically from the parenting that they demonstrated for my little sister and me during college. Although they cannot be there every step of the way, they remain involved in our lives and continuously offer their tremendous support.  My wish for y’all is to Love Purple and Live Gold with incredible pride and spirit alongside your tigers and to take the next three/four/five years by storm! GEAUX Parents <3

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Tips For Your Tiger Week 3

JG profileMeet Jewel Goodly from Champaign, Illinois. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the E.J. Ourso College of Business this summer. She is majoring in Human Resource Education-Leadership Development with a minor in Business. Jewel is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the STRIPES Program. Her favorite spot on campus is the Quad. Her advice for parents is to trust not only students, but that your hard work has paid off!

It’s not you, it’s college.

About six years ago, my oldest sister left for college I was beyond excited for her in every aspect. I assumed that we would text 24/7, that I would get a call from her every day and we would remain in close contact. The communication with her was the opposite and it was hard for me to adjust to rarely hearing from my best friend. While the communication with her did improve, that year I made a personal vow to remain in close communication with my siblings and parents when it was my turn. The stigma I had of my sisters poor communication skills quickly changed as I began my transition to LSU. The more I became acquainted to campus and started to get involved, I learned exactly where my sister was coming from and understood more of why the communication had slowed. Although none of this is intentional as a new college student, your students are developing a new way of living.  I learned that the lack of communication wasn’t intentional but that forgetting to check in with my family did occasionally happen. Between courses, professors, roommates, socializing, staying active, exams, loneliness, new friends, old friends, new home, Greek life, student life etc. college can be quite a bit to adjust to.  Now about to enter my junior year at LSU, I am proud to say I am actively keeping the vow I made to stay in contact!JG fam

College is definitely a transition and a huge adjustment for not only the students but all the family members as well.  So while your student is going through this transition, remember it’s not you, it college. Staying connected can be a good morning text or a flight home if you have an out of state student. Here’s a few tips for staying in communication and contact with your student while you are BOTH transitioning:

  1. Have a conversation with your student and other family members about how often they plan to call and what times fit best in both of your schedules.
  2. Care packages are everything! Nothing makes you feel more connected, loved or supported than receiving a care package or a sweet card to brighten your day! This is any easy way for your student to get a little piece of home right in their residence hall. Every time I got that email saying I had a package to pick up, it always felt like Christmas. Starting August 1, your student can register for a mailbox at the RICOH Mailing Center located in the LSU Student Union.
  3. Know that college makes your students appreciate you more than ever and even if we are reluctant to admit it, you really are the best. Receiving that good luck text right before a big exam or random Skype or FaceTime dates really does make our day.
  4. This one might mainly apply to dads, but remember that if your student calls, they might just want to talk. We don’t always need money, we didn’t get in a car accident, we aren’t failing anything, we just want to talk.
  5. Be a great listener because we might just want to vent and aren’t necessarily looking for an answer. Also try not to say “I told you so” or nag us about the little things when communicating with us.
  6. If you’re not friends with you student Facebook, request to be there friend. Have a conversation with your student about updating their Facebook with pictures so you can see all the fun stuff they are doing.
  7. If you can make a visit, do it!
  8. Lastly if you’re having a hard time communicating with your student, be patient and remember it’s not you, its college.
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Tips for Your Tiger Week 2

Blaise profileMeet Blaise LaCour. She is a sophomore from Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. Blaise is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Tiger TV and the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. Her favorite place on campus is 203 Herget Hall. This summer she will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Art and Design.

The relationship between parents and their children is an ongoing struggle.

While parents give us everything they have, we love to take them for granted. Coming to LSU means your student has complete freedom and it’s up to them as to what they do with it. My advice to parents sending their children off to college is to trust their own parenting skills. It’s now your job as proud parents to take a small step back and see all your efforts at work! This new separation will make your student appreciate you more than you know.

It took me moving hours away from home to realize that my parents had completely prepared me for life on my own. Not only did they give me the gifts of integrity and self-confidence, but they also taught me how to respect everyone I come into contact with. blaiseWhen it came to school they had always given me the independence to go after whatever I wanted, and this freedom allowed me to accomplish big things in high school. Now they were blessing me with the opportunity to take LSU by storm. By using the life skills they had equipped me with my freshman year was a success.

Their support gave me the ability to balance my new college curriculum with the several organizations that I had gotten involved in. But support alone didn’t get me through my first year at LSU. The fundamentals I was taught growing up kept me afloat, and I’m forever grateful to my parents for that.

Just remember, parents, don’t doubt your own abilities. Your student can achieve anything because you have helped them get this far. LSU is a font of opportunity that your student is more than capable of using to their advantage. You’ve prepared them their whole lives or this moment. From prioritizing their school and social life to keeping their rooms tidy, know that you have taught them well. Congratulations parents on a job well done!

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